What does it really take to get yourself out on Twitter and use it to its fullest? In the past few months I have tried many different approaches I was recommended from my Twitter mentors that I came across on the web. And I couldn’t be more thankful.
Here, I want to establish 3 pillars which are the results from my learning and I hope they contain a few tips for your own Twitter usage too.
1# The Engagement Part – Go beyond the usual
The first emphasis I would like to put on any Twitter presence is the engagement part. The most basic things you can do here are interact with your followers in a sincere and genuine manner. Retweet them thoughtfully, mention authors of posts or simply jump in when questions are asked.
Yet, apart from these things I believe there is something more focused to be done, which might best be described as targeted engagement. This means you are reaching out and connecting with people, that are very much suited to your niche. Here is how:
- Set up keyword search columns on Tweetdeck or filter Twitter search terms with Twilert to monitor important terms for your brand or niche. For example I have terms set up such as “tweet scheduling”, “best twitter tools” “how to twitter”. There is a lot of people asking questions in these areas and they are a very targeted audience for Buffer. By helping them finding solutions to their problems you can generate great interest in what you are doing. There is no need to mention your own product oftentimes.
- Another solution to create more targeted engagement is to find the right audience for you by participating in Twitter chats. Here is a super valuable doc for you. Find the exact chats that suit your business or interest and then fire away tweeting whilst they are going on. Always try to provide value and never be self-promotional. If you have done your research well on participating in the right chats, others will naturally be interested.
2# The Publishing Part – be a real (Micro)Blogger
One of the things I learnt very quickly is to take Tweets serious. In the sense to see them as very important pieces of content you are putting out and not just clutter to make noise.
With the @BufferApp Twitter account we try to only provide the highest quality posts we are finding and are being very selective with our tweeting. A few things that helped a lot for our tweeting efforts is to regard tweets as small blog posts. Here is how:
- In a similar way to blogposts, our tweets are well planned ahead of time. Obviously in our case we are using Buffer, as I think simply putting tweets in your Buffer without scheduling individually saves a ton of time. Of course any tweet scheduling function will do. The benefits of this are that you can sit down and write a large amount of tweets with designated focus on copy and content. The increased focus makes a huge difference to quality of tweets.
- Tinker with headlines. Of course, you can’t devote the time to each tweet that you give a blogpost. Yet you can put as much “you” in your tweets as possible. After all I learnt you are also developing your personal voice through your tweets. If that is always headlines from posts, it appears there isn’t too much “You” in there. Add comments and test your own headlines to make your own Twitter account stand out from the rest.
3# The Enjoyment Part – It might be the most valuable one
You hear it so many times. “Enjoy yourself” and “have fun” whilst tweeting. I often asked “What does that mean?”. Clearly you have a goal you are pursuing on Twitter. And focus requires a certain discipline that might move away from the “fun”.
Yet, I made a fantastic discovery in recent weeks. Letting go of some of your focus and simply appreciating the fast paced real-time platform Twitter represents has taken me to places I never imagined. Here is how:
- Recently I started to stroll through the Twituniverse less focused on occasions. I would browse my tweets randomly, check in on people and ask how they are doing and simply watch one or the other funny video posted and then engage with the tweeter. As a result I would often engage with people I haven’t reached out to before. Not only did this broaden my network, but the friendly chatter ended in a serious offer for a great collaboration – after all everyone wants to work with people they enjoy working with, we are just humans.
- Letting go of a total work focus and then getting back to a more serious viewpoint again also creates a very important balance. Communicating on less serious matters via Twitter really helps to keep a healthy and friendly feeling towards the platform. This may sound weird. Yet, after all, I think Twitter is awesome and keeping it awesome is up to me and you. By enjoying it and letting ourselves be entertained this is easy to remain.
If you got this far, then this is fantastic. This is one of the meatiest posts I have ever written, yet I wanted to really try and paint a more holistic picture of my Twitter experience for you.
So if you made it down here, I hope you get a chance to share your thoughts with me. What does using Twitter to its fullest potential mean to you?
Photocredit: VSR 77S